Final qualifying round of Bute GC championship

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Former title-holders Robert McKirdy and Donald Standaloft will take a one-shot lead into the final qualifying round of Bute Golf Club’s 2016 championship tournament on Saturday.

Both players returned gross scores of 74 in the opening 18-holes last week on a day of high scoring at Kingarth.

Defending champion Graham Bolton, who is bidding for a third successive victory in the title competition, is hard on their heels after scoring 75.

It was particularly tough going for the late starters in the field of 21 competitors as wind and rain swept across the course sending the competition scratch score up to level-par 68.

Other leading scorers were: Duncan Speirs 76; Andy Docherty 78; David Coll, Graham McArthur, and Jim Thom, all 80; and Alastair McFarlane 82.

The top eight qualifiers from 36 holes go through to the match-play stages of the title event while the leading eight net scorers from the remaining players will compete for the Cuthbertson Cup in the “Wee Championship”.

* A run of four threes in five holes paved the way to victory for John McBride last week when he lifted the The Bike Shed Summer League Shield for a second time.

McBride, who last won the trophy in 2013, came from behind with a winning score of 21 points in the final round of the nine-hole stableford tournament. That gave the 11-handicapper a total of 61 points from three counting rounds as he edged pace-setter Leighton Thomas into second place.

Thomas, who had led the way in the latter stages of the competition, finished with a tally of 59 points. Stuart Wilson, who was unable to play in the final round, held on to third place with 57 points.

Other leading challengers were: Duncan Speirs 54 points; John Kernaghan and Robert McKirdy, 53 points apiece; A. C. Middleton 52; Malcolm Calder 50; and Steven Neilson 49.

McBride, who received four shots in the final round, bogeyed the first but quickly made amends. Birdies at the two most difficult holes on the course -- the second and fourth -- followed, and par threes at the third and sixth, set up a one-point victory over Steven Neilson. He had to settle for runner-up spot with 20 points.

Duncan Speirs secured third place with 18 points from a score of 36 which was the best scratch return of the round. A. C. Middleton was one shot further adrift on 17 points.

* Kingarth golfers are back in nine-hole action next Wednesday in the monthly medal when competitors should make their own playing arrangements throughout the day.